You may find it hard to believe this scoreline from Saturday, but Tennessee was soundly blown out by South Carolina, 63-38. The Gamecocks got their dream performance from quarterback Spencer Rattler, who overcame a poor overall performance this season and looked like Oklahoma’s version of himself passing for 438 yards and six touchdowns.
There were no turnovers, but mostly clean pockets and good decision making, as Tennessee couldn’t generate much pass rush as their secondary fell to shreds. The Gamecocks scored so much during the game that they ran out of fireworks at the end of it.
That’s why South Carolina brought in Rattler: It was just the expectation that he would have had more of these performances all year. It’s taken a while, but how sweet it must be for Coach Shane Beamer and his staff, who find themselves vindicated with a big win against a college football playoff contender, a win that could change the trajectory of a Gamecocks program. which is usually, “Woe is us!” Beamer is trying to change the culture of a team and fan base that are used to playing second fiddle to their state and division.
Things were going badly throughout the game for Tennessee’s offense, which was unable to hit the deep ball as the game got away from them. But a bad game turned into a nightmare when Hendon Hooker suffered an apparent injury and the Vols’ playoff chances crumbled before our eyes. This Tennessee season will potentially be a program changer, but this team will be haunted by “what could have been.”
Here’s our latest weekly dive into our Top 10 ranking.
1. Georgia (11-0)
This week: Beat Kentucky, 16-6
Next week: georgia tech
The Dawgs stay on top after a physical road win. It was a little tougher game than they thought, but Kentucky’s special teams missed the Wildcats on a play that could have made it a one-score game.
2. Michigan (11-0)
This week: Beat Illinois, 19-17
Next week: in the state of ohio
Michigan quarterback Blake Corum left the game with an injury and Michigan received the benefit of a few calls that Illini coach Bret Bielema was certainly not a fan of, but the Wolverines prevailed in a game in which it looked like they were sleepwalking considering the big crash next weekend. against the Buckeyes. Illinois almost made a good moment out of a season that seemed to be fading after a bright start. Now all attention turns to Colón next weekend, considering…
3. Ohio State (11-0)
This week: Defeat Maryland, 43–30
Next week: Michigan
This was a strange game for the Buckeyes. The 13-point margin of victory only came thanks to a late-contest defensive scoreline. Running back TreVeyon Henderson suffered an injury, but Dallan Hayden came on and paced the Buckeyes with his 147 rushing yards. Ohio State was pretty good on the air, but not overly destructive with Jaxon Smith-Njigba continuing to be absent. They have plenty of firepower with Marvin Harrison Jr and Emeka Egbuka, but the appearance of a third running back could be huge by next week.
4. TCU (11-0)
This week: Defeat Baylor, 29–28
Next week: iowa state
How much time do you have? The Horned Frogs needed just 16 seconds to pull off a gutsy game-winning field goal. In practice they can do it in 11, according to the athletic. What matters is that they are 11-0 after another comeback, the fourth of the season when they trail at halftime. Love them or hate them, the frogs are still here.
5. USC (10-1)
This week: Beat UCLA, 48–45
Next week: notre dame
The last one to have the ball would probably win this game. Well, thanks to a fourth turnover, the Trojans had the ball last. His opportunistic defense was +3 on the turnover margin and, as they have all season, he excelled at stealing possessions for their high-voltage offense. Quarterback Caleb Williams had 502 total yards, and if the Trojans can keep it up, there may be Heisman implications after this impressive performance.
6. Clemson (10-1)
This week: Defeat Miami, 40-10
Next week: South Carolina
Well, next week’s game against South Carolina certainly looks a little different after the Gamecocks crushed Tennessee, but the Tigers are still here after steamrolling Miami. Clemson may need a few things to break through, but it will make the CFP committee’s job a bit more difficult if the Tigers can keep up their winning ways.
7. NSU (9-2)
This week: Defeat UAB, 41-10
Next week: Texas A&M
LSU made light work of UAB and slid into the second half. It was the result the Tigers needed to set up for a highly rivalry weekend matchup against Texas A&M. It was a make-or-break game for second-year wide receiver Malik Nabers, whose 129 yards were huge as the Tigers outscored their opponent.
This week: Beat Austin Peay, 34-0
Next week: Chestnut
There’s not much to see here of the Tide in their Iron Bowl warm-up game. Of note: Jahmyr Gibbs, Eli Ricks and Cameron Latu all did not play on Saturday, something to watch out for next week as the big rivalry game looms.
9. Oregon (9-2)
This week: Beat Utah, 20-17
Next week: Oregon State
Oregon exorcised demons from last year’s nightmare pair against the Utes, and the Ducks did it in a big way with this win. Quarterback Bo Nix took a beating before Saturday and it certainly showed. He was sidelined for one play before returning to the game after a disastrous play gone wrong that led to a touchdown for the Utes. But Nix came back and steadied the ship, while Oregon was able to rely on a dominant defensive performance in which Utah’s Cameron Rising couldn’t get much of anything on offense.
10. Pennsylvania State (9-2)
This week: Defeat Rutgers, 55-10
Next week: michigan state
The Nittany Lions didn’t fall for it with their dominating win against the Scarlet Knights. Penn State no longer has a division to play in, but it is ending the season on a solid note.
More college football coverage:
• The future of CFP expansion is in the hands of the Rose Bowl
• Texas A&M stands empty after slow start
• Hollins’ mother recounts aftermath of UVA shooting